Every year, thousands of people are injured or killed in bicycle accidents in Florida. In fact, recent studies show that Florida has one of the highest rates of bicycle accidents and fatalities in the entire nation. Therefore, the need for a Tampa Bicycle accident lawyer is ever increasing. Collisions with motor vehicles are the number one cause.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, even if you aren’t sure exactly who was to blame, you need an experienced car accident lawyer to help you sort through the details and help you collect any compensation to which you might be entitled to your injury. Winters & Yonker, Tampa’s aggressive bike accident lawyer team is here to help. Call us today to arrange a free initial consultation on your case.
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What Should I do After a Bike Accident?
Even before taking legal action, you should seek the help of a medical professional to examine you and determine the extent of your injuries. The sooner after your accident you do this, the better. If you have not been seen by your doctor since your accident, call them or visit your nearest urgent care facility immediately.
Having reliable documentation regarding your injuries and any course of treatment will help us build your case. It will often increase the value of the case considerably, as will following your doctor’s advice in terms of treatment and recovery. If, for example, you are advised to seek physical therapy, arrange it and follow through with it.
Failing to do so will have a negative impact on your case. A Tampa bicycle accident lawyer can help you prepare the strongest case.
How is Liability Determined in a Bike Accident Claim?
In a disputed liability case, both parties attempt to argue that the other person is the one responsible for the accident. If no witnesses are present or choose to come forward, it comes down to the word of the bicyclist against that of the driver. A good bicycle accident lawyer will thoroughly investigate the facts, even to the point of visiting the scene, obtaining photos (including those that show damage to the of the vehicles involved), and seeking the assistance of accident reconstruction experts to examine the scene and recreate the crash. The evidence we gather will help us build a stronger case and prove the liability when your behavior is called into question.
Even if you think you might be partially at fault in your accident, the operator of the vehicle that hit you (whether it was a motor vehicle, another bike, or something else) often shares a percentage of the blame in the eyes of the law. Even if you were as much as 50% at fault, you likely still have a case. We have multiple lawyers that specialize in a wide variety of automotive accident and can be reached at any time of day.
Bicycle Accident Fatalities on the Rise in Tampa, Florida
The rate of bicycle accidents and deaths associated with them have been rising steadily since at least 2014. In 2015, Florida was reported to have the highest rate of bicycle-related fatalities of all 50 states. Nearly twice as many people are injured and killed in bicycle accidents in Florida than anywhere else in the nation.
How Motorists See the Bicyclist
While unfortunate, it is almost a universal truth: most motorists don’t pay close enough attention to people on bicycles. Because most drivers’ primary concern is focused on the things in the driving environments that can cause the greatest harm, many tunes out objects around them that they don’t consider an immediate threat. The size and position of most bikes can sometimes make them virtually invisible to any driver who is not properly scanning his or her driving environment every second.
While many drivers are quick to try to place blame on the cyclist in an accident, most cyclists are very alert and aware. They respect the rules of the road as they pertain to bike riding. They share the road well and use good judgment while they ride. Most cyclists also develop a good eye for distracted, reckless, or negligent drivers, and are prepared to deal with hazards like opening car doors, jaywalkers, potholes, or road debris.
Still, people have some very specific misperceptions about bicyclists. Those misconceptions have to do largely with the tiny minority that operates in a reckless manner – weaving in and out of traffic, blocking intersections or cutting off cars in traffic. More care and fewer distractions on behalf of cyclists and drivers would reduce incidences of these types of accidents significantly.
Where do Most Bike Accidents Occur?
A bicycle accident can occur anywhere someone chooses to ride, but some areas are less safe than others. Nearly 3 out of every four bicycle accidents happen in urban areas and a large percentage of those also occur after dark.
College towns are particularly high-risk areas for bike riders with a higher rate of incidents per cyclist than many major cities, adjusted by population. Roads that have higher speed limits, narrower lanes, and no shoulders also account for a large number of bike accidents in Florida.
How can Motorists Reduce the Risk of a Bicycle Accident?
Above anything else, drivers need to realize that sharing the road with bikes is mandatory. Bicyclists have all the same rights to operate their vehicles and access public roadways as motor vehicle operators. They also have the same responsibility to operate in a safe manner and contribute to a safe driving environment for all.
Always operate at safe speeds and exercise additional caution in urban areas, at intersections, in heavy traffic areas, and at night. Avoid unnecessary distractions like cell phones, food, or maps while the car is in motion. Be especially alert when backing out of driveways, making turns, or opening car doors into oncoming traffic.
How can Bicyclists Reduce the Risk of an Accident?
No matter if you are a serious bicyclist or if you just ride your bike for exercise, you should be aware of the risks you are taking as well as those you might be creating as you ride, particularly in areas of heavy traffic. Obeying all relevant traffic laws, being fully aware of your surroundings, and taking all necessary precautions to ensure a safe ride will help you drastically reduce the risk of being involved in an accident.
You can, however, still wind up seriously hurt by a motorist who isn’t doing all those things. When that happens, we step in. Call Winters & Yonker today. Our bicycle accident attorney team is ready to meet with you and discuss your case free of charge. Call us right now at (813) 223-6200.
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What are some Driver Errors in Bicycle Accidents?
In most bike accident cases involving motor vehicles, it is the motorist who is found at fault or mostly at fault either through driver error, general negligence, or failure to exercise due caution while backing out, proceeding through intersections, making lane changes, or entering roadways. Drivers also disregard traffic control devices like lights and signs all the time, attempting to beat yellow lights or rolling through stop signs. These kinds of behaviors decrease the level of caution exhibited by the driver and increase the odds of a crash.
Distracted drivers hit bicyclists all the time. In a society bent of multitasking even at the worst possible of times, bicycle accidents involving negligent drivers are becoming more and more common. Drivers eat, change radio stations, text, apply makeup, or divert their attention in any number of ways. Any activity that detracts from the task of driving can lead to disaster, especially when the driver is so caught up in another activity he or she fails to notice the cyclist in the driving environment.
How can a Lawyer Help my Bike Accident Claim?
As with any kind of personal injury case, the exact circumstances surrounding your bicycle accident are what determines the number of damages to which you would be entitled. In a majority of cases, the person who caused the accident is responsible to pay for your medical expenses (doctor & hospital bills, rehabilitative therapies, prescription drugs, etc.)
If you lost time from work as a result of your injuries, you could also be entitled to collect for lost wages. If the extent of your injury prohibits you from ever returning to work, you could be entitled to collect for lost future earnings as well. Pain and suffering are also factored into your damages as are certainly emotional and mental conditions that can result from such a traumatic event.
Having a dedicated, aggressive, a Tampa, Florida bicycle accident lawyer by your side can help you recover all due compensation for the expenses and losses that result from your injury that go far beyond what you can collect under PIP.
Since PIP only covers a maximum of $10,000 in lost wages and medical expenses, it often proves largely inadequate to cover the expenses you will incur. Florida sets a statute of limitations at four years from the date of the incident to bring a case. Before even a fraction of that time passes, you need to get the process started. Call a Tampa bicycle accident lawyer at Winters & Yonker today at (813) 223-6200.
You’d be amazed at how quickly four years can pass. Don’t forfeit your rights. Take action with a bicycle accident lawyer now to settle your claim.
Let the seasoned bicycle accident lawyer team at Winters & Yonker help you win your bicycle accident case.
We will gather all the evidence necessary to win your case and get you the compensation you deserve including:
- Witness statements
- The negligent operator’s driving history
- Accident reconstruction reports
- Witness Interviews
- Securing forensic and medical expert testimony
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer at Winters and Yonker
Tampa alone is a hot spot for bicycle accidents and with Florida being the most dangerous state for bicyclists nationwide, it’s no wonder that we have fought and won so many bike accident cases in recent years. Through a combination of dangerous road designs and negligent drivers, Tampa is home to far too many injuries and deaths suffered by cyclists.
At Winters & Yonker, P.A., a personal injury lawyer will be aware of the serious – sometimes devastating – impact a serious bicycle accident can have on a victim and his or her family. We understand the financial and emotional costs incurred when injury or death results from a bicycle accident. Our bicycle accident lawyers fight aggressively to protect the rights of injured cyclists.
Let a bicycle accident lawyer help you get the compensation you deserve from insurance companies and negligent drivers. If you are the victim of a bicycle accident contact a car accident lawyer at Winters and Yonker for a FREE consultation today.
We are available ’round the clock to answer your questions and arrange for a free initial consultation. You will never see a bill from us unless we collect. Call today or contact us online. Can’t get to us? A bicycle accident lawyer will come to you. We can meet you at home, in the hospital, or anywhere that works best for you. Don’t delay. Start on your way to getting the money you deserve for your injuries right now.